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Friday, October 20, 2006

OMB official discusses possibility of reinvesting IT savings

Agencies that find ways to run information technology operations more efficiently may be eligible to spend the money saved on other technology work related to their mission, an Office of Management and Budget official said Thursday.

OMB recently asked agencies to start documenting the savings associated with their participation in IT-related efforts such as the Bush administration's e-government projects and lines of business initiatives to consolidate back-end systems in areas such as financial management.

"The intent is to provide the agencies with incentives," said Karen Evans, administrator of OMB's Office of E-Government and Information Technology, at a conference. "[If] you get greater efficiency in your IT operations, it allows you to do other mission ... activities."
Agency responses to OMB's request to document savings were due by Sept. 30. Evans did not say whether all agencies have responded.

She emphasized the distinction between savings and cost avoidance, and noted that it is only possible to apply savings toward other mission-related technology activities. Cost avoidance is when agencies find ways to perform more work for the same budget.

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